Master Warrant Officer Edward Hebb appointed as member of the Order of Military Merit

News Article / January 11, 2021

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By Captain Lynne Patterson

“It’s very humbling and I’m really surprised,” said Master Warrant Officer (MWO) Edward Hebb on December 4, 2020, upon learning Governor General Julie Payette has appointed him member of the Order of Military Merit.

“I’ve worked with some great people over the years and I can say my troops make me look good,” he said, addressing his construction engineering colleagues assembled for the presentation at Camp Canada, on Operation Impact. “Our type of work is not done alone. I see this as a team effort and I want to say thank you to everyone.”

MWO Hebb’s chain of command back home says he has served the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) with both dedication and distinction since his enrollment in 1998.

“He has outstanding integrity and leadership skills at a level that consistently exceeds all expectations,” says Colonel David Proteau, Wing Commander, 17 Wing Winnipeg, where MWO Hebb is currently posted. “Deploying eight times throughout his career, he is the epitome of service before self. MWO Hebb is continually challenging himself with professional development opportunities and volunteer initiatives within the community. He is known for his leadership, work ethic, and infectious morale.”

Operation Impact’s Operational Support Hub – South West Asia commanding officer Lieutenant-Colonel Stéphane Roussel delivered the news to MWO Hebb, remarking it was the first time in his 24-year career he had the pleasure to announce something like this. Following the presentation, the construction engineers gave a robust trade cheer of “CHIMO!” in support of their colleague’s recognition. For the uninitiated, the expression is a saying engineers use with one another. The word derives from the Inuktitut greeting saimo (saimu), which means hello, goodbye, peace be with you, and similar sentiments.

MWO Hebb joined the Canadian Armed Forces as an electrical distribution technician in 1998 with the 14 Engineering Squadron in Bridgewater at Canadian Forces Base Greenwood, Nova Scotia. As a MWO, he is now a construction engineering superintendent, a project manager who oversees the seven different trades within construction engineering.

He started preparing months ago for his six-month deployment on Operation Impact. “We knew we were going high readiness,” said MWO Hebb about the benefits of arriving in theatre with his team from home. “From 17 Wing, there are nine people in construction engineering alone. You hit the ground running and already have a relationship with these people. You know their strengths. And it helps your subordinates when they need help because they already know their chain of command.”

Throughout his career, MWO Hebb has had a variety of postings across the country and more than a handful of deployments: Golan Heights in 2002, Afghanistan (2005, 2007, and 2008), Air Task Force Reassurance in Romania and Lithuania (2014), and Operation Impact four times: Kuwait 2015, Jordan 2016, Iraq 2018, and now six weeks into his most recent deployment in Kuwait.

It’s a lot of time away from home and he admits it’s challenging, but he has noticed a huge improvement in the options to communicate with his wife and three children while he’s away. “It’s a whole lot easier now than when we were in Afghanistan when we were trying to track down a satellite phone to call home. With FaceTime and emails, it’s so much better.”

Despite the fact that he has started his deployment with this momentous accomplishment, MWO Hebb remains focused on his job.

“My goal is to make the camp better than when we arrived,” he says. “I’m happy to be here and I’m looking forward to a great tour with my team.”

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